How Do I Keep Track of the Work I’ve Delegated?

When you’re managing a busy team, you’re probably doing a lot of delegating – of big projects as well as small details. In an ideal world, you’d be able to rely on your team members to circle back to you on everything you delegate to them – but in reality, you need to have a system for tracking what you’ve delegated so that you can make sure work isn’t falling through the cracks.

But you don’t want tracking delegated work to become a project unto itself – after all, you want delegation to take work off your plate, not add to it. Here are four easy ways to track work you’ve delegated out to others so that you don’t lose sight of it for good.

1. When you delegate a project, put a reminder on your calendar to check in on it at some future date. Make this an automatic part of your delegation process so that you don’t have to remember to do it later. (And besides, you’re likely to forget if you don’t do it right when you assign the work.)

2. Create a list of all ongoing projects, who they’re assigned to, and when they’re due. Be vigilant about jotting a note on this list when you delegate anything new. It doesn’t have to be lengthy – something like “Alvarez memo – Julie” can be sufficient. Make using this list part of your regular operations (if you never update it, it won’t have any value).

3. If you frequently delegate through email, create a “waiting for” folder in your email, and then drag any relevant messages from your Sent folder into it. You can periodically check that folder to spot if there’s anything you’re waiting to hear back on. If you need to check on the status of a project, you can just forward the original message to the person you sent it to with a request for an update. (Make sure to move messages out of this folder once you no longer need the reminder, so that it doesn’t get cluttered with unnecessary items.)

4. Put more onus on your staff members to keep you in the loop as projects progress. One easy way to do this is if your staff members send you an agenda before your regular one-on-one meetings. (If they don’t, have them start!) You can ask that this agenda include a spot for ongoing projects, and then you can periodically spot-check to ensure that these lists are comprehensive (and address it if they’re not).

Learn how Intuit QuickBase can help you track delegated work in a Live Demo on Wednesday, July 16 at 2:00 PM EDT: The Exchange – Ready-to-Use Business Solution Apps featuring “Project Notifications, Subscriptions, Tasks and Reminders.”

You May Also Like:
How to Delegate When Your Team is Already Overloaded






Alison Green

Alison Green writes the popular Ask a Manager blog where she dispenses advice on career, job search, and management issues. She's also the co-author of Managing to Change the World: The Nonprofit Manager's Guide to Getting Results and former chief of staff of a successful nonprofit organization, where she oversaw day-to-day staff management, hiring, firing, and employee development.

More Posts